Submission Title

I Sing to Use the Waiting

Streaming Media

Subject Area

Music

Description

I composed this art song during my sophomore year for my second semester composition course at Linfield University. This song was composed for piano and soprano. Arwen Myers sang the vocal line and Susan McDaniel played the piano in this recording.

Before the performance recording, there was a workshop recording that took place between the completion of my first draft and the beginning of the editing process for my final draft. The recording pointed out things that the music software playback could not, and I made changes based on my findings in the recording and notes from Myers and McDaniel. Hearing feedback from the performers themselves was a very informative experience, and this whole project helped me to grow as a composer.

The text is a poem by Emily Dickinson titled “I Sing to Use the Waiting,” which I interpreted to be about a woman who is at her life’s end and is now waiting for death to claim her. She sings to distract herself from the dark nature of her ever-approaching demise. I communicated this interpretation through the use of minor for the dark or sad lines of text and the use of major for the hopeful lines. I wrote a motive in the piano that I use throughout the entirety of the piece to give the same sense of anticipation that the “waiter” has, and I modify it to fit the nature of the words that are being sung.

This piece is approximately 2:45 in length.

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Apr 26th, 12:00 AM Apr 26th, 12:00 AM

I Sing to Use the Waiting

I composed this art song during my sophomore year for my second semester composition course at Linfield University. This song was composed for piano and soprano. Arwen Myers sang the vocal line and Susan McDaniel played the piano in this recording.

Before the performance recording, there was a workshop recording that took place between the completion of my first draft and the beginning of the editing process for my final draft. The recording pointed out things that the music software playback could not, and I made changes based on my findings in the recording and notes from Myers and McDaniel. Hearing feedback from the performers themselves was a very informative experience, and this whole project helped me to grow as a composer.

The text is a poem by Emily Dickinson titled “I Sing to Use the Waiting,” which I interpreted to be about a woman who is at her life’s end and is now waiting for death to claim her. She sings to distract herself from the dark nature of her ever-approaching demise. I communicated this interpretation through the use of minor for the dark or sad lines of text and the use of major for the hopeful lines. I wrote a motive in the piano that I use throughout the entirety of the piece to give the same sense of anticipation that the “waiter” has, and I modify it to fit the nature of the words that are being sung.

This piece is approximately 2:45 in length.